The Real Charlotte by Edith O. Somerville, Martin Ross

By Edith O. Somerville, Martin Ross

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Children are, if unconsciously, as much influenced by good looks as their elders, and even the raw angularities of fourteen, and Mrs. Fitzpatrick’s taste in hats, could not prevent Francie from looking extremely pretty and piquante, as she held forth to an attentive audience on the charms of a young man who had on that day partaken of an early dinner at her Uncle Fitzpatrick’s house. Francie’s accent and mode of expressing herself were alike deplorable; Dublin had done its worst for her in that respect, but unless the reader has some slight previous notion of how dreadful a thing is a pure-bred Dublin accent, it would be impossible for him to realise in any degree the tone in which she said: “But oh!

D’ye know how I served Tom Casey, the land-leaguing plumber, yesterday? ’ I was arguing there half an hour with him in water up to his middle before I converted him, and then it wasn’t so much the warmth of his convictions as the cold of his legs made him tune up. ” The speed and vigour with which this story was told would have astounded anyone who did not know Miss Mullen’s powers of narration, but Mr. Lambert, to whom it seemed specially addressed, merely took his cigarette out of his mouth, and said, with a familiar laugh: “Practical politics, by Jove!

Half the round table in the centre of the drawing-room had been covered with a cloth, and on it Louisa, in the plenitude of her zeal, had prepared a miniature breakfast; loaf, butter-cooler, and knives and forks, a truly realistic touch being conferred by two egg-cups standing in the slop-basin. A vase of marigolds and pink sweet pea stood behind these, a fresh heap of shavings adorned the grate, the piano had been opened and dusted, and a copy of the “Indiana Waltzes” frisked on the desk in the breeze from the open window.

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